Since the beginning (2007), Ergodomus has always firmly believed in off-site construction and in the need of improving the building sector. As a founder of the company, I’m still promoting this every time I meet new people or I give a speech at conferences all over the world. So I know that it is not easy to meet people with a similar mindset, people believing that timber is not just a material but is something more, is a new method of construction, is a way to change the way we built.
So I’m really pleased to host Tjiko on our website and promote their activity!
“In the building industry there is a lot to improve and this is an opportunity! This is especially true for the wood construction sector, as we will see. According to the McKinsey “Reinventing Construction”-Paper from 2017 the annual productivity of the building industry has only increased 1% in the last 20 Years. If we look back and search for comparisons we find that items like the smartphone, business-software platforms, hybrid-cars and GPS were all invented within the same timeframe. In this 20 year period, other industries have outgrown the building industry in terms of productivity and worth.
What is the reason for such stagnation in the industry? We would say that it is both the planning and the building processes employed throughout. Specific to planning, a reason for low effectivity is obvious because unfortunately we build a prototype every time we build a house. Let’s go deeper before we have a look at the building process: why are we building prototypes, or what does that even mean? Everybody has a special need for individuality in his/her personal space and design plays an important role in fulfilling this desire, especially if tailored to individual requests. At Tjiko, we understand this very well and we believe that a cookie-cutter environment is simply less than what we should expect from the 21stcentury. Among our core principles is to balance such desires of individualistic expression with the precision and efficiency that 21stcentury technologies permit.
A second constraint is the local building authorities who are regulating the ways in which we build. As important as they are in ensuring consistent practices across the industry, they can also inhibit innovative positive solutions from gaining traction or happening altogether. So how can we improve under these conditions? In our opinion, buildings or building components must be product based. This means preplanned and used as a series while simultaneously configurated for specific individuals and their environment. This is better known as Mass Customization and fortunately it is common in other sectors. One of the only compromises that must be assumed by the customer is to respect the boarders of possible variations. Something that most consumers are not used to quite yet. Fortunately, it is safe to say that this barrier is easier to overcome with products that are really looking good and have a great functionality. Therefore, the design, engineering and commercialization of such variations is key!
Secondly there is a lot to improve in the construction scheduling: under industrial conditions we estimate 40% higher productivity compared to the status-quo of building on-site. We argue that preplanning and prefabrication strategies in combination with digital tools, such as product configuration platforms, are the pivotal factors for lower costs and added values in the building sector.”
For more info: www.tjiko.de/